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2017 Conference: Why Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll
Why This Theme
Why did we choose this theme? Why be so public about complicated, personal, often embarrassing issues? Because fighting in the open has been the mission of MHA since Clifford Beers dared to utter his now famous words: “I must fight in the open.” So we are going to do just that.
These issues are real – across all age groups – and are far from black and white. It is time to take mental health, mental illness and addiction—and all the messy and sometimes uneasy truths that accompany them—out from behind closed doors—and discuss them openly. Together. Even if it makes some uncomfortable. It is that important.
Throughout the three days of our conference (and during our pre-con day for MHA affiliates on June 13), we will bring advocates, experts, and elected officials together for clear, real, and direct conversations:
- We’ll discuss issues that impact many in the mental health and addiction communities every day—sexual trauma and its aftermath, sexual addiction, sex and gender, intimacy issues, and sexual and other side effects of mental illness medication. And we will talk about how we can address them effectively to promote hope and recovery.
- We’ll dive into topics surrounding the opioid epidemic, self-medicating, and addiction. And we will talk about how people are overcoming alcohol and drug dependence and successfully finding pathways to resilience and recovery
- We’ll talk about the all-too-frequent stories of musicians, entertainers, and artists who battle mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Is there a connection between the genius mind and serious mental health concerns and addiction? Can you make great music and art and be sober at the same time? And we will talk about how music, musicians, and artists and entertainers are playing a major role in helping peers and fans along their own paths to recovery.
Engagement and inclusion are central to recovery. In 2017, we will bring our community together—to talk about what it means to have real mental health, what it means to be in recovery—and what it means to address mental illness Before Stage 4.